Independent Educational Evaluations
Of all the areas in which I practice, my IEE assessments are perhaps the most important to me. What is interesting is that you cannot sign up to become an IEE assessor, a school district has to decide to use you. Whenever I receive a this type of call, I always encourage that parent have a chance to contact me and ask questions about my background, experience, and methodologies that may be used to assess their child.
But doesn't the school district really have me "in their pocket?" After all, they're footing the bill. How can an impartial evaluation really occur?I chose to write about this simply because it comes up all the time. I am not a school employee, but a private clinician who has been retained to provide an impartial and fairly balanced view of a student's functioning in the areas requested. It's just like a parent paying for their child's therapy. I explain that, just because they foot the bill, it doesn't mean that they are entitled to learn about everything their 16 year elects to tell me. Similarly, families may tell me pieces of information they feel will help me better understand a situation, but ask that I do not put it into my reports. I am bound to honor such requests, although I will sometimes try to encourage parents to disclose it because I think the information may be helpful to their child. But, ultimately it's the parent's decision.
If I worried that I may say or write something that a district didn't like, I couldn't do effective IEE evaluations. I consider it an honor when I am selected function in this role. It usually means that a child's situation is more complex and this ties nicely into my background and training, particularly my years at Boston Children's Hospital, where I remain grateful to my supervisors who mentored me in such a comprehensive and caring environment.